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Mohit Ahlawat

September 24, 2006

Hyderabad Nawabs is doing extremely well in Hyderabad and it is going almost housefuls in all theaters it is released. This film has Hyderabad flavor and complete entertainment orientation. met with RK - the producer, actor, distributor and script writer of Hyderabad Nawabs for chitchat. He played ‘Yadav Anna’ in Angrez and ‘Mama’ in ‘Hyderabad Nawabs’. Here are the excerpts -

I am born and brought up in Hyderabad. We are from agriculture background. I completed MBA in Hyderabad. I was also interested in cricket and I was in all Indian fast bowlers camp organized by Sports Authority of India Ltd. I always believed that if we work hard and if we are focused, we can achieve anything. I started my career in manufacturing medical equipments. I am also into real estate.

I don’t watch films much. I hardly watch one film an year. My entrance into films is due to destiny.

Jayant is a good friend of me and he gave an offer to act in Mahesh Babu’s Takkari Donga a few years back. I learnt horse riding for cowboy role and acted in that film. I broke my chin while learning horse riding. Jagapati Babu is also a good friend and we used to work out together. I did a small role in Jagapati Babu’s ’Athade Oka Sainyam’ film.

Nikhil (director of Angrez) came to me four years back with a script called ‘Indian hopes’. I gave him some inputs about Hyderabad culture and old city lifestyle. He took those inputs and made Angrez script. He wanted me to produce the film, but I did not have any prior experience in it. I am also offered the role of ‘Yadav Anna’ in that film. I used to be a short-tempered street fighter in my college days. I also know how goons work here. And that helped me in understanding the role better. I gave my office for the production of Angrez film.

Angrez film was very much accepted and it became a cult film. Though it was a good film, the producer failed in promoting the film aggressively. The movie failed to work in the rest of India due to lack of proper publicity.

During the making of the Angrez, I noticed that Kanth (assistant director) did most of the script work. I asked Jahingir (who acted in Angrez and Hyderabad Nawabs) to pen the script. Kanth gave the finishing touches to the script. Kanth directed Hyderabad Nawabs and we produced the film in 7 months.

We released the film ‘Hyderabad Nawabs’ with seven prints in seven theaters of Hyderabad. Lage Raho Munnabhai was also released the on the same day. But Hyderabad Nawabs collected more than LRMB in Hyderabad. I wanted to screen this film in Hyderabad first and then do business in North and abroad after generating good mouth talk. Hyderabad Nawabs created lot of buzz here and we getting very good offers from everywhere. Recently we previewed it to Bhatts in Mumbai and everybody gave a thunderous applause. The canteen boys, drivers and projection boys too loved the film.

Most of the scenes in Hyderabad Nawabs are inspired by the incidents that happened to me and the incidents I observed in my teens. Each and every scene in the film is told with humor. I always feel that a good film does not have any genre or classification. If a good film is made, it is bound to entertain everybody.

I wrote the script of Hyderabad Nawabs, I acted in the film, I produced it and I also distributed it. I appointed five guys per theater to curb piracy. We are surprised to find that 45 minutes worth of Hyderabad Nawabs is being made in pirated VCD format. That VCD consists of the movie version prior to rerecording. It went out from a studio in Hyderabad. It is a very pathetic thing. I think piracy is as criminal as rape and murder.

Where did you get the actors from?
Hyderabad Nawabs is the first complete Hyderabadi film. I picked up actors from the streets and gave them opportunity.

What is the budget of the film?
I can’t reveal the figure. But we spent a lot. We had to pay double the wages because Hyderabad Nawabs is being made in Hindi category. If we pay Rs. 1 as wage for a Telugu film, they will charge Rs. 2 for a Hindi film. I made a local film by showcasing the spirit of Hyderabad and I was charged double the amount.

How much did it collect so far?
Hyderabad Nawabs is doing almost 100% in spite of hurdles like heavy rains, cricket matches, ganesh nimajjan, jagne ki raat etc. we have done about 44 lakhs in 7 theaters in the first week, which is 30% higher than the collections of Lage Raho Munnabhai, which was released on the same day in Hyderabad. That is an achievement. At the same time we were forced to pay entertainment tax of 20% at par with Hindi films. This film is also watched by Telugu people equally well. I saw foreign visitors watching Hyderabad Nawabs because it captures the local flavor and lifestyle.

Were there any controversies on Hyderabad Nawabs after release?
There were some rumors in old city about the film. And the local leaders contacted me about it. I requested them to watch the film. They praised Hyderabad Nawabs after watching the film. They are proud of Hyderabad Nawabs.

Are you familiar with don culture in Hyderabad?
Yes. Most of the scenes we have in the film are from my personal experience of watching them from a close quarters. We have not shown the villain as killer. Villains too have human side to it. They are married. They enjoy the life just the way a common man does.

What are your future projects?
We have an idea and we are developing it.


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